Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Ex-Im Bank approves loan application for Bucyrus equipment; OSHA cites Karl’s Event Rental for violations; Wisconsin manufacturing employment down 2.5 percent this year

Ex-Im Bank approves loan application for Bucyrus equipment

The U.S. Export-Import Bank has approved $600 million in loan guarantees for Bucyrus International Inc. to manufacture mining equipment for a power-plant operator in India.

According to Bucyrus spokeswoman Amy Malingowski, the loan application will now go to Congress for final consideration, and the company expects that decision within 30 days.

“The bank had a team of people over in India reviewing the site, and we were optimistic it would be approved,” Malingowski said.

The $600 million in financing was sought to help an Indian firm, Reliance Power Ltd., to buy Bucyrus mining equipment that would be used for a coal mine that is to supply a power plant under construction at Sasan in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Ex-Im Bank reversed its initial rejection of the loan application because of concerns that the equipment would be used to mine coal, which is not a clean-burning fuel.

Hundreds of jobs at South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus are at stake with the loan application. If the loan is not approved, Reliance Power is prepared to buy the equipment from overseas competitors.

The bank reconsidered its decision after receiving pressure from the White House and Wisconsin’s congressional delegation.

OSHA cites Karl’s Event Rental for violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Karl’s Event Rental Inc. in Oak Creek with 23 safety and health violations that include exposing workers to combustible residues and electrical hazards.

The proposed penalties total $85,000.

"This company exposed its workers to unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and failed to properly train them in the correct use of personal protective and emergency equipment," said OSHA area director George Yoksas in Milwaukee. "By ignoring safe practices, companies invite tragedy into the lives of their workers."

Some of the 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $45,000 include failure to remove accumulated combustible residues within spray booths, train workers in how to use respirators and fire extinguishing equipment, develop required procedures for machinery operation and have an adequate personnel platform when elevating workers. The company also has received four repeat citations with proposed penalties of $40,000 for failing to develop an energy control program, provide required energy control training to workers, develop and implement a written hazard communication program, and train workers on chemical hazards in their work area. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

The company also has received one other-than-serious violation with no penalty for improper mounting of fire extinguishers.

Karl’s Event Rental, which is one of the nation’s largest event rental companies, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Wisconsin manufacturing employment down 2.5 percent this year

Manufacturing employment in Wisconsin fell 2.5 percent over the past twelve months according to the 2011 Wisconsin Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Evanston, Ill.-based Manufacturers’ News Inc.”

Manufacturers News Inc. reports that Wisconsin lost 15,223 industrial jobs and 154 manufacturers between June 2009 and June 2010.

The decline in manufacturing employment in the state has slowed. The 2009-10 job loss in the state was about half of the manufacturing job loss in Wisconsin during the 2008-09 period, according to Manufacturers News.

Manufacturers’ News reports Wisconsin is now home to 11,872 manufacturers employing 580,184 workers.

"The recession continues to affect Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector, particularly industrial machinery and industries reliant on the housing market. But we’re definitely seeing fewer job losses than we did a year ago," said Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers News.

Machinery and equipment remains the state’s largest manufacturing sector by employment, with 100,743 jobs, down 4.7 percent over the past twelve months.

Fabricated metal products ranks second with 65,254 manufacturing jobs, down 2.9 percent over the past 12 months.

Food products accounts for 64,219 industrial jobs, down 2.1 percent over the past year. Other industrial sectors in Wisconsin that lost jobs during the past 12 months included lumber and wood, down 10.3 percent; printing/publishing down 7.7 percent; furniture/fixtures down 5.6 percent; primary metals down 5.2 percent; electronics down 3.2 percent and textiles/apparel down 3 percent.

Employment in transportation equipment and rubber and plastics remained steady over the year, Manufacturers News said.

Few industry sectors showed employment growth in the state during the last year. Employment in chemicals manufacturing rose 3.2 percent and paper products increased 2.1 percent, according to Manufacturers News.

Manufacturers’ News reports that southeastern Wisconsin has more than half of the state’s industrial employment, with 313,412 jobs, down 3.1 percent over the last year.

Manufacturers’ News city data shows Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s top city for manufacturing employment, home to 56,013 jobs, down 4.7 percent over the last year. Second-ranked Green Bay has 22,894 jobs, about the same as a year ago.

Madison has 18,066 industrial jobs, down 4.8 percent over the last year.

Waukesha has 17,256 manufacturing jobs, about the same as a year ago.

Appleton has 14,167 manufacturing jobs, down 3.2 percent over the last twelve months.


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